Putin Tells Macron That Russia Needs Material From Germany to Determine What Happened to Navalnyby by Irina Acheeva
French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation on 14 September, in which Macron claimed France's analysis confirmed that Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok-like substance.
President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia needs material from Germany to determine what happened to opposition politician Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin said in a statement after Putin held talks with Emmanuel Macron. Putin continued by saying that baseless Navalny-related accusations against Russia are inadmissible, according to the Kremlin.
"The two sides agreed to work on determining parameters of possible interaction with European partners on this," the Kremlin press service said.
During the conversation, Macron told Putin that Russia needed to clarify the situation with Alexei Navalny and said that Paris's analysis confirmed that the opposition figure had been poisoned with a Novichok-like substance. The French leader also expressed full solidarity with Berlin in terms of its future steps regarding this situation.
Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has commented on the matter, saying that he does not expect Germany to be criticised now that other laboratories have confirmed its conclusions on Navalny.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated that Moscow has no legal grounds yet to launch a criminal case into the incident involving Navalny.
Details About Navalny's Alleged Poisoning
Earlier in September, Germany involved the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the analysis of the evidence in Navalny’s situation, the government's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said. According to the spokesman, the results of the analysis by special laboratories in France and Sweden confirmed Germany's conclusions.
In the meantime, Navalny has partially recovered and was awoken from his medically-induced coma on 7 September, according to German media reports.
On 20 August, Navalny fell ill during a domestic Russian flight. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane made an emergency landing. Two days later, once doctors established he was fit to be flown internationally, the politician was transported to the Berlin-based Charite hospital for further treatment.
German doctors claimed Navalny's samples contained traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group. However, Berlin provided Moscow with neither an official notification on the findings nor assistance in the investigation launched by the Russian law enforcement immediately upon Navalny's initial emergency hospitalisation in Russia, according to the Russian authorities.
The Kremlin has commented on the matter, saying that Russia has not produced any Novichok group substances since the OPCW verified the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile in the early 1990s. Germany, meanwhile, admitted that its intelligence has had access to Novichok since at least the 1990s. Russian chemist Leonid Rink, who took part in Novichok experiments in the Soviet Union, said the Navalny's symptoms did not at all resemble those of a Novichok poisoning.